Here in the Maldives we’re blessed to have not only big animals like mantas, turtles and sharks but also beautiful macro life. The house reef at Six Senses Laamu has the best of both worlds, offering up nudibranchs, little octopuses still undescribed by science and even a resident guitar shark! Here are some highlights from February, enjoy!
Did you know that the deadly, highly venomous blue-ring octopus cannot tell the sex of another blue-ring at first sight? They have to feel the other one first in order to be able to figure it out. An encounter can be witnessed in this video where two blue-ring octopuses (Hapalochlaena sp.) meet each other for the first time. Love at first sight or disaster date? Watch to find out!
You asked for mantis shrimps, and you got them! OK, even if you didn’t ask for them, November’s highlights include some fascinating behavior (what were the mantis shrimps doing?!) and weird wildlife. A rare Polycera nudibranch (check out that beard!) makes an appearance feasting on red arborescent bryozoans, a wunderpus (Wunderpus photogenicus) pulsates color change on its eye-stalks and a rare green shrimp with eggs flexes its brood. Bonus points for you if you spot the bobtail squid covering itself with sand, one of the cutest things you can see when night diving in Lembeh Strait. Enjoy!
Frogfishes are a member of the anglerfish family and eat pretty much everything, shrimps, fish and even other frogfish. The strike itself is accomplished with the sudden opening of the jaws, which enlarges the size of the mouth up to 12 times, pulling the prey into the mouth along with water. The water flows out through the gills, while the prey is swallowed and the food pipe closed with a special muscle to keep the victim from escaping. In addition to expanding their mouths, frogfish can also expand their stomachs to swallow animals up to twice their size.
This little clown frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) obviously did not eat his dessert first! Frogfish tend not to be picky eaters and have been known to eat just about any creature that is close enough and that will fit in their mouth (including other frogfishes of the same species) but this shrimp seemed to not suit his palate. It’s anyone’s guess as to why he spit it out – did he eat the good parts and expel only the hard shell? Was it an awkward shape and difficult to swallow? What do you think?
It’s hard to believe such a beautiful species as the mandarin fish (Synchiropus splendidus) can be so cut-throat when it comes to territorial battles, but make no mistake, these guys don’t mess around when another male comes in to try and muscle in on their harem. Finally the ‘sheriff’ makes an entrance at the end and breaks up the dirty fight!
We guarantee you have never before seen some of the crazy critter action featured in this week’s video; have you ever seen a video close up of the eye of an elegant sand diver? No? What about this eye with a shrimp on it? Didn’t think so. This and many more bizarre and beautiful surprises in this will make you wish you were here. What was your favorite part?
This time of year often brings slightly cooler water temperatures in Lembeh and to our delight, we’ve noticed many more baby frogfishes are around than normal. Coincidence? We think not! Some of these ultra-cute froggies are in this video as well as footage of rare nudis like the Phyllodesmium koehleri and one of the weirdest, most unusual critters we’ve ever seen – a bizarre polychaete worm (Diopatra Sp.) that looks like a cross between a bobbit worm and a furry-legged bristle worm! Enjoy this up-to-the-minute glimpse of what’s going on in Lembeh.
Here are some highlights from February…check out the cardinal fish – I don’t know how he manages all these eggs…crazy!
This February is all about frogfishes…here’s a short video of some of the common species we usually see while diving the Lembeh Strait – Enjoy!